Short form video

The Easy Guide to Short Form Videos

Video remains king when it comes to digital marketing and standing out on social media. With a short-form video, you can deliver a message or engage your audience in seconds. Here is an easy guide to short-term videos to help increase your brand engagement and success.

The short-form video should be an integral part of your brand’s content marketing strategy for many reasons. It has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy, and a 2020 study by Wyzowl showed that people share videos at twice the rate as any other form of content.  The study also found that 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on its video.

Prioritizing short-form videos will be critical to a successful marketing plan this year. However, there are things about short-form videos and how to make them strategically work for your business. As business owners, content creators, and influencers, we’ve pulled together practical tips and tricks to help you master short-form video content. 

Crafting short-form videos doesn’t have to take hours out of your day or week. It takes the right tools to create compelling video content for your brand’s social media profiles. This guide offers tips and tools to help you create short-form video content your customers will love.

The Definition of Short Form Video

The average commercial is between 30 seconds to 60 seconds long. Which also happens to be the average length of a short-form video. From micro-videos like Snapchat’s 1-second clips to the 60 seconds you get on Reels and Triller videos, up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length are considered short-form.

Learning how to market effectively on social media is tricky. Here are a few tips, trends, and best practices to follow to create the best content marketing strategy for your brand.

Captions are a Must

Subtitles and closed captions are crucial to making content more accessible. Accessibility is essential in short-form videos. According to the FCC, as many as 15 percent of Americans live with a hearing impairment. Closed captions or subtitles on short-form videos are essential accessibility tools. 

Some customers prefer watching videos by keeping sound off. Riding the noisy subway? Scrolling in bed? Subtitles and closed captioning are essential because they allow viewers to watch your videos anywhere, even when they can’t hear the audio.

Mega platforms YouTube and TikTok are taking notice and making changes to become more accessible. YouTube is advancing the use of subtitles in its app, and TikTok is expanding its accessibility features by making auto-subtitles available on all clips.

Short Videos Continue To Dominate

Short-form videos are a great marketing tool because they’re easy to distribute. They upload fast, load faster, and are easy to post and share on various social platforms. We’re all leading busier lives than ever before, and as a result, we don’t have more than a few seconds to devote to an ad or informative video.

The suggested video length depends on the platform and message. For TikTok, the sweet spot is between 9-and 15 seconds. So the first 3 seconds of your view must grab the viewer’s attention, which can be done successfully in under 10 seconds. 

HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Report found that 51 percent of marketers who use short-form video plan to increase their investment this year. At the same time, 38 percent plan to continue investing the same amount.

Videos Should Be Optimized for All Devices

The best short-form videos are short and easily consumable, easy to load, and have a thumbnail that encourages people to click. It’s the most time-efficient way to create videos that you can upload to various social platforms. You can’t control how your viewers access your videos, so they should be optimized to look great on all devices. 

Vertical videos are the new standard for most social media platforms, including; TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Reels and Stories. 

Make your Videos Aesthetically Pleasing

Utilize the in-app editing features, special effects, and filters to make your short-form videos stand out. While using apps like TikTok, Instagram Stories and Reels, and Facebook Stories, you can use special effects like Glitch to give your videos a futuristic vibe or VHS for a retro touch.

It’s equally important to add trending music or sound effects to your video. Doing so will grab your audience’s attention and lead to more engagement. Due to the algorithm generally, the videos using the most popular sounds get the most views.

Pro Tip: Please know that your business account might only have access to Royalty-Free music. As a business, you must be careful of the music you use. You might need rights to use some of the popular songs

Keeping it Authentic 

Authenticity is one word to keep in mind throughout all aspects of your marketing campaign. 90% of Millennials,85% of Gen X, and 80% of Boomers say authenticity matters to them. Consumer awareness has increased, and people want to make socially, environmentally, and ethically conscious choices. They also want to trust that the brands they choose are created by people who are also trying to do the right thing.

According to a recent Stackla Survey, 90% of customers mentioned authenticity as an essential factor in deciding which brands they like and support. Are you wondering how authenticity translates to your short-form videos? You don’t need to have an elaborate production plan for these videos. Sometimes the more amateur the videos look, the more relatable they are. Stories and live streams give your brand a human touch, which is exactly what you need to create authentic content. 

Don’t Focus on Selling.

Finally, don’t create short-form videos that push consumers to buy. This content strategy is more about connecting and relationship building than selling. As your connection with customers grows, they will remember your brand when purchasing a product or service.

Making Short-Form Video Part of Your Strategy

Short-form videos can help you build trust and loyalty with your target audience. Here are some easy ways to make it a part of your digital marketing strategy. 

Tell a Story 

Storytelling increases engagement and emotional connection, and it helps your customers remember you. Brand storytelling can increase the value of your service or product by over 20%. These stories should aim to show the human side of your brand. 

Video Marketing with Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the easiest ways to leverage word-of-mouth tactics. Influencers of all types can help you spread the word about your product or service quickly. People will naturally follow along when someone is perceived as influential or an expert. Influencer marketing also provides social proof that your product is effective. 

User-Generated Content Increases Value

Unlike influencer marketing, user-generated content is entirely organic. The people creating it do so because they’re excited to participate in a promotional program or enjoy creating content around a specific product.

User-generated content is popular for some of the same reasons that influencer marketing is successful. It provides word of mouth and social proof while giving the content a dose of authenticity. 

A different Stackla Survey revealed that people are 3.1 times more likely to say UGC is authentic than brand-created content and 5.9 times more likely to say it’s the most authentic than influencer content. Another benefit of UGC is that it is cost-effective and much more budget-friendly than influencer marketing. 

Behind-the-Brand Videos

Customers seem to feel more connected to brands that share what’s going on behind the brand. Authenticity and transparency can both be shown in just a few seconds through behind-the-brand videos. 

In one study, 70% of consumers said they felt more connected to brands whose CEO is active on social media platforms. So it’s time to pull back the curtains, set up that tripod, and engage with your audience on a personal level.

Explainer or Educational Videos

Educational videos help audiences in their day-to-day lives. Explainer videos target users who are at the decision-making stage of the buying process. If done correctly, they can turn decision-makers into customers. A 2020 Wyzowl report found that viewers want to see more of this video style from brands.

These how-to’s, DIYs, and explainer videos allow brands to address their audience’s pain points and offer solutions directly. It is building brand loyalty, but it’s creating more educated consumers. 

Repurpose Content

You’ve probably already created both long-form and short-form video content. This is an opportunity to cut those down into bite-sized chunks with a more specific message. This is an easy way to extend the lifetime value of your videos and ensure your customers get as much value as possible from your content.

Tools We Like

Here are some of the tools we find most helpful when creating short-form videos. 

Filmm, CapCut, and PREQUEL are editing apps that allow you to add color filters, graphics, music, and effects. 

Canva is the best app (also available on desktop) to use when making a thumbnail photo that will drive traffic to your video. 

Unfold helps you create eye-catching Instagram Stories and social media graphics. 

MixCaptions allows you to add subtitles to your video for accessible viewing. 

Inshot is a free video editing app that allows you to trim video and add text, music, and transitions. 

Scheduling platforms like Plann allow you to load and schedule your videos for automatic posting on specified social media platforms. 

Companies Doing it Right

TempeTourism has done an excellent job featuring experiences and attractions around their destination on TikTok. 

Behind-the-brand glimpses of our work here are Brave World Media, and the work we do for our clients often garners the most engagement on our platforms. 

This TikTok by HelloFresh is proof that catchy music is the first draw. Check them out for successful examples of user-generated content. 

WashingtonPost does a good job reaching the TikTok audience by incorporating social media trends and short-form videos with the news. 

Doritos was an early adopter of user-generated videos. Their Crash the Super Bowl” contest finalist “Mousetrap” by Billy Federighi wound up ranking among the top five Super Bowl XLII commercials on USA Today’s Ad Meter.

PlanetMoney does a great job educating TikTokers on economics while being entertaining. 

According to a Wyzowl survey, 86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. If you’re looking to cut through the noise, share bite-sized information with your audience and keep your brand top of mind, video content must be part of your social marketing strategy. Now is the time if you haven’t made short-form video content a part of your marketing plan.